The Hepworth Wakefield Garden
The Hepworth Wakefield Garden is open daily and free to enjoy.
The Hepworth Wakefield Garden
The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, designed by internationally acclaimed landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, is free for all to enjoy.
As well as Stuart-Smith’s distinctive planting, there are outdoor sculptures by Sir Michael Craig-Martin, Barbara Hepworth and Kim Lim.
Tom Stuart-Smith’s design draws inspiration from its unusual setting between 19th-century red-brick mills and a 21st-century art gallery, edged by the River Calder. It echos the striking, angular shapes of the David Chipperfield-designed gallery while harnessing a naturalism that reflects Barbara Hepworth’s deep connection to the landscape.
Find out about the story of The Hepworth Wakefield Garden here.
Sculpture in the garden
Ascending Form (Gloria), 1958
Wakefield Permanent Art Collection (The Hepworth Wakefield), Donated by Eric and Jean Cass through the Contemporary Art Society 2010
The two diamond shapes in Ascending Form (Gloria) can be seen as representing natural forms, with the one growing organically out of the other, or as a reference to hands coming together in prayer.
One of her most frequently recurring subjects was the standing form, which she related to the feeling of a human figure in the landscape.
Pitchfork (Yellow), 2013
Sir Michael Craig-Martin
Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian
This 4m yellow pitchfork stands tall amongst the trees in the garden. It is taken from a series of giant and brightly coloured painted steel sculptures that resemble commonplace objects.
Appearing like drawings in the air, Craig-Martin’s deceptively simple sculptures pose questions about the role that objects play in our everyday lives.
Hear Michael Craig-Martin describe his sculpture in this short film.
Kim Lim (1936–1997)
Acquired with the support of the Contemporary Art Society, 1983
This work, Day, which is made from painted steel, was conceived as an outdoor sculpture. The tall arch not only acts as a sun dial casting shadows to gauge the time of day and year, but its elongated form and curved crest echo the elliptical orbit of the earth around the sun.
The acquisition of Day into Wakefield collection in 1983 was prompted by Lim’s close alignment with the sculptural ethos of Barbara Hepworth, as both artists shared a mutual concern for the relationship between abstraction and the landscape.
Gabriel Reaching for Heaven, 2022
A major new commission by Sheila Hicks
To coincide with Sheila Hicks’ first major UK retrospective, we have commissioned Hicks to create a new outdoor sculpture for our garden. This five-metre-tall column entitled Gabriel Reaching for Heaven, 2022 is made from a cascade of coloured cords.
Since the 1970s, Hicks has exhibited her work outdoors in both urban and rural settings that include the gardens at the Palace of Versailles, Paris and the High Line in New York. Hicks’ commitment to engaging with the public realm has been expanded through her work with innovative textile producer Sunbrella to develop weather resistant fibres. Hicks’ outdoor works push pigmented fibres to their physical and conceptual limits, creating soft architectural inventions in form and vivid colour.
In bloom - September
Pennisetum ‘Fairy Tails’
September sunshine sparkles through the fluffy flowers of this fountain grass. Pennisetum prefers a sunny spot with well-drained soil. As a deciduous perennial grass the old foliage can be cut back in February or March each year before the plant sends up its new green shoots.
Miscanthus ‘Ferner Osten’
A vigorous perennial grass with tall narrow leaves and soft golden-pink plumes in autumn. Miscanthus quickly forms a big clump and provides beautiful structure long into the winter. As a tough-stemmed, deciduous grass with a dense crown, we cut it back to the base with a hedge trimmer in early March just before the new green shoots appear.
Eurybia x herveyii synonym Aster macrophyllus ‘Twilight’
Covered in silvery, lilac flowers with yellow centres, this Michaelmas-daisy blooms from late-August onwards. Along with many plants in the Asteraceae family this perennial has recently had a name change and whereas it used to be called Aster macrophyllus ‘Twilight’, its new name is Eurybia x herveyii.
An excellent perennial for late summer colour this aster does not suffer with mildew which troubles some asters and it fills an area quickly.
As winter comes the flowering stems will dry into dainty silver stars.
Origanum laevigatum ‘Herrenhausen’
This long flowering, richly purple perennial is an ornamental variety of the culinary herb oregano. The leaves don’t have the same herbal aroma as Oregano vulgare which we cook with, however this variety is very popular with pollinators. Rough wiry stems emerge in spring from a matt of glossy green leaves and clusters of papery-pink flowers open from dark purple calyces. The species Origanum laevigatum originates from rocky areas in Turkey, Syria and Cyprus and so this plant likes a sunny spot with free draining soil and is well suited to planting at the front of a border.
Diary of a Cultural Gardener
Help Katy care for The Hepworth Wakefield Garden
We have transformed a strip of unused land into a beautiful flower-filled garden, free for all to enjoy. As a living composition, the Garden requires daily care and attention to ensure it remains an urban oasis for everyone.
If you are able, please support this work. Any donation, no matter the size, makes a real difference. Please donate here.